The Country Director of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Liberia has commended the Liberian Government for efforts made to establish the Liberia Independent Information Commission.
Dr. Kamil Kamaluddeen said Liberia is among very few countries in West Africa that has taken this giant step. He was speaking during a courtesy call paid by a team from the Independent Information Commission, headed by its Chairman Counselor Mark Bedor-Wla Freeman.
The UNDP Country Director described the role of the Commission as a unique and honorable responsibility that guards the conscience of integrity. He urged the Commission to use independent information not only to expose the wrong things in society but to ensure that the right things are done to strengthen integrity.
“Access to information is power and UNDP is interested in all aspects of your work” said Dr. Kamaluddeen. He encouraged the Commission to take its task as a challenge and an opportunity to write and make history through its work.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the Liberia Independent Information Commission Counselor Mark Bedor-Wla Freeman narrated that the Commission is soliciting support from development partners in the execution of its mandate. Counselor Freeman informed the UNDP Country Director that the Commission has already commenced the hearing of cases with one on asset declaration, now up for appeal.
He spoke of plans by the Commission to develop and implement a five-year strategic plan and expand its activities to all parts of the Country. The LIIC Chairman pointed out that the Commission is galvanizing technical, operational, financial and policy support from Development Partners interested in promoting good governance.
He mentioned support being received from the Carter Center, and OSIWA but appealed to the UNDP to use its influence in helping the Commission mobilize additional support.
Liberia’s Freedom of Information Act (FOI) was signed into law in 2010 and its first Independent Information Commission was named by President Sirleaf in May 2012.
The FOI provides all persons the right to access public information.